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Media icon laid to rest

  • Written by 
Hermione Irmyntrude Charles Hermione Irmyntrude Charles

Former News Editor at the Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS) and News Director of Radio Grenada – Hermione Ermyntrude Charles - who was instrumental in guiding and training several current announcers and journalists like Selwyn Noel, Josephine McGuire, Odette Campbell, Angela Emmanuel, Myrna Julien and Rawle Titus in News broadcasting and proper usage of the English language and pronunciation, was buried on Friday February 15th. She was 92 years old.  

Ms Charles was famous for emphasizing the principles of journalism by instilling the virtues of fair and balanced news reporting. Hermione Irmyntrude Charles was educated initially at a Private School until she was admitted to the Church of England High School (presently known as Anglican High School) for girls. She achieved her higher education by enrolling in extra-mural classes provide by the University of the West Indies before departing for the United Kingdom. There she pursued broad-based studies at Hill Croft College in Surrey. On completion of her courses there, she engaged in an intensive course in Human Relations for Executives at Roffey Park Institute in Sussex. 

Upon completion of her studies in England, Hermie was employed in temporary positions throughout London. During that period she was included in some of the 1950's British Broadcasting Corporation's short broadcast talks on topical matters as written by her. Some of these were transmitted to Grenada and were favorably received by local listeners. It was during that time that a BBC Training Officer who was in Grenada suggested to her friends and relatives that she should consider returning to Grenada to contribute to the recently established Windward Islands Broadcasting Service (WIBS) headquartered here in Grenada. Hermie did return to Grenada in 1957 and joined the new Radio Station as an announcer. She was appointed soon afterwards to take charge of the News Department in the production of the news and news broadcast. 

The 70s, 80s, and 90s saw her taking a lively interest and playing a significant role in society by being a member of many organizations. She held the following positions: Chairperson on the Administrative Committee - National Commission during Women's International Year; Journalist contributing to the local press; Proof-reader for the Torchlight newspaper; Office Manager and News Editor with the fledgling Grenada Television in 1978; Contributor to Caribbean Literary Journals; Contributor as General Correspondent to a BBC News-Related Programme named "Post-Mark London". 

Hermie was also a third-term Honorary Secretary to the Soroptomist International Organization of Grenada, as well as third-term Honorary Secretary to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). She was a member of the Grenada Arts Council, the Willie Redhead Foundation, the Grenada Historical Society, the Grenada National Museum, the Home Industries Charity Committee, and the YWCA Art Club. At the then-called Spice Island Inn, she was a Director for approximately three years. In the early eighties, she took on the position of Publications Officer at the Grenada Family Planning Association and continued in that post when she transferred to the Head Office in Antigua to work with the Caribbean Family Planning Association. 

When the Interim Government took control of Grenada, during the post-Revolution period, she was requested by them to return home to fill the position of News Director at Radio Grenada. She accepted the job in 1985 and remained there until her retirement in 1991. In 2006, Hermie was granted an award by the Media Workers Association of Grenada acknowledging her dedication and outstanding contribution to the media from 1956-2002. She was a legend in her own right - a broadcaster, journalist, philanthropist who dedicated most of 46 years of her life to working for and in the Media. MAY SHE REST IN PEACE.

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